BY SIOBHÁN CRONIN
FESTIVALS, heritage groups and disability agencies can benefit from a number of grants offered to voluntary organisations, which could make a very real difference to them, Deputy Noel Harrington pointed out recently.
Deputy Harrington, a Fine Gael TD for Cork South West, said he was often approached by people in community organisations, seeking information on what funding is available to them.
‘While there are many grants available through the local authorities and from various government departments, there are also various schemes and projects that can be funded from the EU and also from private enterprises,’ he said.
Among the schemes currenlty open to applicants, are the The National Lottery Grants. These are aimed at community groups and voluntary organisations providing health, support or information services to groups, such as people with an intellectual or physical disability.
Deputy Harrington also pointed out that, in 2014, Department of Health-approved funding under the Lottery grants was given to five organisations in West Cork, totalling €133,300.
These included the Skibbereen Geriatric Centre, which received €120,000 towards the cost of the refurbishment of Cara House; the Community Family Resource Centre in Skibbereen, which received €6,800, for musical & DJ equipment & workshops; Eyeries Community Care Group which got €3,000 for the construction of new kitchen to provide meals on wheels.
Grants were also provided to the Irish Wheelchair Association in Clonakilty, which received €4,000 towards the fitting of automatic doors, and Allihies Community Centre which got funding of €1,500 for child programmes.
‘The 2015 Department of Health’s National Lottery Grants will be awarded on two dates this year, one in June and the other in November,’ he pointed out, and the closing date for applications is 12 noon on May 1st.
The Department of Children and Youth Affairs offers grants under the Youth Capital Funding Scheme. This is aimed at health and safety improvements to premises – from improved access for young people with disabilities (eg, fire doors) to the upgrading of premises (eg window replacements; heating upgrades, etc). The closing date for this scheme is February 27th at noon.
Deputy Harrington said that further details on these and other grants will be available on his website or at his constituency offices in Bantry or Skibbereen.